The sixth annual Beacon of Hope luncheon drew record numbers, as more than 450 Dallasites came together in support of the Grant Halliburton Foundation, which helps young people suffering from mental illness. The afternoon at the Westin Galleria was filled with emotional testimonies that explained how the foundation provides vital help to families in the Dallas area.
Master of ceremonies Terry Bentley Hill welcomed the crowd with a personal message of her own about suicide loss and mental illness in her family. Chairs Maloree and Bob Banks revealed how an experience with one of their children brought them to the foundation, which welcomed them with open arms. Then Sara Hickman shared a powerful song and poem titled “Hopeful.”
Foundation president Vanita Halliburton then took the stage to share the exciting news that since the CONTACT Crisis Line has closed, its Teen CONTACT program has been integrated into the Grant Halliburton Foundation’s programming. Since January 1, the foundation has trained more than 3,200 students and staff.
Then it was time to hear from keynote presenters Elizabeth McIngvale-Cegelski and Jim McIngvale. Their dynamic presentation centered around Elizabeth’s experiences with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), providing an insider’s perspective on what a family living with a person with mental disease goes through, from the perspective of both father and daughter.
Jim told the audience to take in the raw reality of what they shared and to realize that help and hope can lead to peace of mind. He closed by challenging everyone to speak out, learn the signs and work with one another to stamp out the stigma associated with mental illness.
Among those in attendance were Billy Milner, Jarod Dame, Laura Meeks, Tedi Koehn, Amy Olsen, Jenni Hubby, and Ashley and Justin Farmer, who support the Grant Halliburton Foundation’s mission to help prevent suicide, promote better mental health and strengthen the network of mental health resources for teens and young adults. Last year 5,000 people were reached by the foundation with personal training.